The importance of history in explaining and understanding change in human behavior is no mere abstraction.
History, then, provides the only extensive materials available to study the human condition. It also focuses attention on the complex processes of social change, including the factors that are causing change around us today.
History as art and entertainment serves a real purpose, on aesthetic grounds but also on the level of human understanding.---历史也有美感Many of the historians who most appeal to the general reading public know the importance of dramatic and skillful writing—as well as of accuracy.
"History teaching by example" is one phrase that describes this use of a study of the past—a study not only of certifiable heroes, the great men and women of history who successfully worked through moral dilemmas, but also of more ordinary people who provide lessons in courage, diligence, or constructive protest.历史用来学习前人
下面的资料说明了历史的重要作用——预测未来。 Studying the Past
In The Prince, 16th-century Italian philosopher Machiavelli wrote, “Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times.” History, in other words, can tell us much about the future. The phrase “the history of the future” sounds like an paradox, but there is much to learn from looking at past visions of the shape of things to come—not to be amused or to feel superior, but rather to understand the innately human impulse to imagine and dream about tomorrow. As reliable prophecies, these past visions are patently useless. As artifacts of culture and belief, however, they are guideposts to a better understanding of our own future.
Well before the considerable decline of beliefs in magic by the 18th century, however, human societies had also developed ways to think about the future in clearer relation to historical time. That is, they became aware that their societies had pasts, and they tried to relate those pasts to the future. Most of the forecasts we deal with today, such as those that inform military or business policy, actively use history because the forecasters assume a connection among past, present, and future events. As we will see, the types of connections on which predictions are based, as well as the success rate of those predictions, vary hugely. However, the need to assess predictions applies regardless.